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Life With Sharon, or, How Much Can a Dog Take?

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I Didn't Know...

July 5th 2013 2:36 pm
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When I first saw your face on Old Dog Haven's website, you appealed to me because of the black-and-white shih tzus I had loved in the past. For that reason I decided to give you, a ten year old rescue from a hoarder, a comfortable home to live out the rest of your life. I didn't know, at that time, what an important part of my heart and my life you would become. I didn't know how joyful you were, or how grateful you would be to always return HOME after a trip to the store, a ride in the car, a visit to the vet. You bonded with my Greyhound and he became your big brother and protector. I didn't know that you would be inconsolable when he died, and I certainly didn't know that you would go looking for him the next day.I searched for you for hours, following all the leads from people who had seen you. I didn't know I could feel so panic-stricken as I tried to track you down in the car, tramping through fields, searching (with breath held) in drainage ditches. I've never known the weak-kneed relief I felt when I finally spotted you lying muddy and exhausted on the other side of the ditch.

I didn't know, when I first saw your picture, that you would become so important to me that I would go to any lengths and spare no expense for your health and well-being. I didn't know that you would always be at my feet when I needed you most, in the nursing home keeping vigil while my mom breathed her last breaths. Who knew that we would spend three months in Paris together because I couldn't bear to be parted from you for that long?

I did not know when I invited you into my home as a hospice arrangement how my heart would ache for you as your strength failed, your happy tail hung limp and you needed support to walk and stand. I never knew how hard it would be to let you go. Now my enlightened heart knows that your spirit will forever remain with me making me, grateful for the time we had together. Run, beloved Patch, wave your tail in happiness.



May 5th 2013 3:40 pm
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Mom's typing this for me as her tears flow, but she wanted to help me say good-bye to all my pup-pals. I'm tired. I can't stand without falling down, and can't walk without stumbling. I can't hear my mom when she says she loves me. I'm embarrassed when I try to pee and end up lying in it or when I try to eat and the food won't go into my mouth, so Mom has to feed me with a spoon. I mean, is there any dignity in that? When we go for a walk, I can't control my direction and I have no interest in good smells any more.I used to enjoy riding in my stroller and looking out at things we pass, but now I just lie down and don't notice. I'm tired of acupuncture and chiropractors and osteopaths. I'm tired of having to do strengthening exercises and pills for pain. I sleep during the day and wander at night and wonder where everybody is. Sometimes I think Mom has left the house when she really hasn't, but I go and wait at the door for her until she finds me there.

We didn't have a lifetime together - only four years. But they were the best years of my life and my mom says the same. We were there for each other through thick and thin, good and bad, happiness and sorrow.We loved each other unconditionally. Now I want to go to the Rainbow Bridge where I hear that I'll be able to run again, and hear other dogs barking and the smells in the grass will be enticing again. And, I hear, someday Mom will come and find me and we'll be together again. I know her heart is breaking and at first the memories will be painful, but they will sweeten with time.I'm just too tired.


Thenk yew, thenk yew verra much!

March 13th 2013 3:23 pm
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Thank you, pals, for your congratulations. I wish I felt like I had done something to deserve it. It's all a mystery to me.


I'd Like to Thank...

March 11th 2013 8:05 am
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the academy for bestowing upon me the honor of being one of the Daily Dogster Picks. (Who are they, anyway, and how does this happen?)

Mom left me with my sitter all weekend and went to a two-day dog show. No, she did not come home with a dog. Why would she - she's got one?


Give Me Your Opinion

March 5th 2013 5:45 pm
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This is a question for all dogs aged 12 or over: How would you like it if your mom adopted another dog? Not a puppy, she said, an adult dog.I mostly eat and nap.I don't like to be held or petted, but I do like to be at Mom's feet wherever they might be, and I don't like to be pestered. How about you? What do you think?



March 2nd 2013 7:38 pm
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When you're an old guy, sometimes you have trouble peeing. Sorry if that offends you, but it's just a fact of life; hey, guys - am I right? So the vet, after making sure the bladder stones hadn't come back, gave Mom some pills that were supposed to help. I'll spare you all the graphic details and medical terms, but it was a kind of tranquilizer. Well, I was as tranquilized as a wet noodle for three days. Mom was scared to death, because she couldn't wake me up. My eyes were unfocused and my tongue was hanging out. She tried to rouse me with the smell of a pill pocket which I kind of tried to eat without opening my eyes, but I couldn't make my mouth work so I just licked the blanket. I spent two days at the vet with a needle stuck in my leg and fluid dripping into me. Mom brought me home at night and slept with me so she could check to make sure I was still breathing during the night. When she got up in the morning I still was a limp noodle so back we went for another round of fluids. I'm at home now and I'm still a little sleepier than usual but wa-a-y better than I was. Gettin' old is not for the faint of heart.


I'm On The World Wide Web!

February 4th 2013 7:49 pm
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Hey, guess what! Mom made me a web page of my very own! And so far it's only taken her two full days - I've been bored out of my mind because she's been fixated on getting this done. She's only taken me on two very short walks (short in distance, long in time) and then she went back to the computer. That thing sure monopolizes her time! Anyway, it's done and if you want to see it go to It has cool buttons that take you somewhere else; one even takes you here! Hope you like it. Oh, and my book might be coming out on Cross your toes!


Where in the World is Patch?

January 23rd 2013 10:23 am
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On our drive up the California coast, supposedly on our way home to Washington, Mom passed several turnoffs from Hwy. 101 to Mendocino and each time she would say, I wish we had time to go to Mendocino, Patch. It's one of my favorite places. So when it was about 4:00 and we were a long way from a nice hotel, she impulsively turned off 101 onto the last exit which put us on a road with hairpin curves for 27 miles. It was dark by the time we got there and we needed a hotel. And I needed dinner. I get a little cranky when I'm hungry and I was hungry! Mom started getting a little cranky when she was looking for a hotel in the dark and I was urgently telling her it was dinner time. Well, with a little advice from the owner of two other shih tzu, we ended up in a great place with every amenity a mom could want including a fireplace and every amenity a dog could want including other dogs! This place caters to dogs! I got to go into the breakfast room with Mom, and since I'd already had my breakfast, I was not cranky. The only bad thing is the slick hardwood floors - I can't stand up, let alone walk. My muscle tone isn't what it used to be. But good old Mom was even prepared for that - she had brought along several carpet runners that we use at home to give me traction so I have pathways where I can walk from my bed to my bowls (very important) to my pee pads. Last night I fell out of bed (my own bed with bolster sides) and got stuck in the corner. The floor was too slick for me to get up, but luckily Mom heard me scrabbling around and woke up to help.
It's raining here, but it's raining at home too, so Mom says we might as well stay here and enjoy the change of scenery. I don't care. I'm happy wherever she is.


Is This Really Necessary?

January 13th 2013 4:23 pm
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I had to have a bath today. We've only been here 10 days and I already had to have a bath. Who knew the desert would be so dirty? If I weren't built so low to the ground, I could have gotten away with a foot bath, but Mom said my belly was dirty too, so in the tub I went. I decided to sit down so my butt got washed,too. In fact, both of us got wetter than was in the original plan.
We saw a roadrunner today. No, not the cartoon one, but a real one. He acted just like the cartoon one, though. He ran a bit and then stopped and his tail went up and down. Then he ran another bit and his tail went up and down again. I can see why they made a cartoon character out of him.
I'm vacationing with a golden retriever named Annie. She's very polite and I've found out that she doesn't mind sharing her dinner. Last night Mom heard a crunch, crunch, crunch, turned around and caught me eating Annie's dinner while Annie stood watching me. It's nice to know that I can still throw my weight around, even if I am a little up there in years. So I probably packed on a couple more pounds. Hey, I can't hear, I can't run, at least I can still eat.


It's a Long, Long Way to Palm Springs

January 9th 2013 9:34 pm
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We drove for three whole days to get here. I was beginning to think the van was my new home. Staying three nights in a new, strange place each time was kind of unsettling. At least I always had my familiar soft crate which comforted me a little. We had three days of great weather and easy travel until we got to Southern California. Then Mom got a little tense. Between Santa Clarita and San Bernadino she was pretty quiet and I think I saw a little sweat bead on her forehead. When we finally stopped at a rest stop after about two hours,she had a little trouble prying her fingers off the steering wheel. She muttered something about bumper-to-bumper traffic going eighty miles an hour, and then there was something about having to cross five lanes of traffic to get to the right exit. I don't know what it was all about - I was napping in the back.

It's a lot sunnier here in Palm Springs than it is back home in Washington. We can take walks without getting wet. There's a dog park here that we visited but I wasn't too interested in playing, so I just walked around a little and returned some salutations. Most of the dogs here seem to be blends of two or three different breeds. There are a lot of shelters in S. Cal. so I think that's a good thing. A lot of homeless dogs are finding their furever homes.

Today we were walking in a park - well, Mom was walking and I was in the stroller because I don't walk very well any more - and a bunch of "old guys" were sitting around a picnic table at the tennis courts and they started laughing at my transportation and making rude remarks. Mom laughed,too, but then she said, Don't laugh too hard, you'll be riding in one of these all too soon! Then they really laughed (but I wonder if they really thought it was funny).

It's nice to have a back yard to walk around in again, but the sun is very bright. Mom wants me to wear my Doggles and I did for a little while, but I'm still not convinced that they're worth the annoyance. Oh, I know I look cool, but what good does it do to look cool in your own back yard?
I might wear them downtown. There's a film festival going on and maybe people will think I'm a movie star dog in town for the Golden Canine Award. Or not...

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